Text by Beach Thurlow-Meyer, photography by Jake Mein
First published in Manual #39, September 2010.
Two foot of powder has settled on the mountains surrounding Wanaka as it sits below the ever-present inversion layer. Wanaka attracts thousands of people from across the world, and two foot of fresh dry powder only happens once a season. The town is emptied of humans as everybody packs into their 4WD Subarus and heads for the hills. Everyone except Josh and Olly Wilson. The twins and their snow hating attitudes will be at the skate park dominating the bowl and ledges. After watching them skate you’ll find yourself saying, “wow, they’re really good,” or “fuck, they have a good style,” then comes the “who are these guys?”
The generalisation with identical twins is that they seem exactly alike—that they dress alike, act the same, share the same interests and even say the same thing at the same time. This couldn’t be further from the truth with Josh and Olly. Anybody that knows them can tell that they are pretty much the opposite of each other. It would be like if Tony Trujillo and Tom Penny were twin brothers. Yes, they do look the same, but do they skate the same? Most definitely not! It took me years to actually figure out which twin was which. I was always calling them by the wrong name or talking to the wrong one, and they got pretty sick of it.
What Josh and Olly do have in common is their attitude towards skateboarding and life. They don’t get bothered or worry about much, the only thing they want to do is go for a skate. Still being young grommies, the twins can have a big Friday night without any sign of a hangover looming the next morning. Then, after only a couple of hours’ sleep you will find them at the park practising their early grab fly-outs. I would eventually make it to the skate park to go for a skate but wouldn’t even get a foot on the concrete before one of the two asks, “Hey, can you get us some beers?” while they casually return to talking up some local park hussy.
I finally got you guys here; you’ve got to be the most useless grommets.
Olly: Haha! Yeah, nah.
So, what’s up?
Josh: We’re just up in Christchurch at the moment. Had to get out of Wanaka for a bit.
I know what you mean! So what is it like growing up in Wanaka?
J: Pretty chill, we don’t get up to much. Winter’s pretty cold, summers get scorching hot. Pretty much just skate and hang with mates.
O: Heaps of hot chicks in summer.
Not many babes in winter?
J: A few snow bunnies.
O: They’re all covered up though.
Do you get up the mountain much in winter yourselves?
O: Once a year. We chill in the café all day.
Anyway, enough about snowboarding, this is meant to be about skating. So why is it that one of you skates bowl and the other skates street?
J: It’s because I got left behind in the street game, so I made a career move.
“WE SWAPPED CLASSES ONCE. IT WASN’T EVEN FUNNY. I ENDED UP IN JOSH’S ENGLISH CLASS AND IT WAS REALLY BORING.”
Pretty interesting that you guys are identical twins, but it must be pretty normal for you, right?
O: Yeah, it’s normal. Just like having another brother that is the same age as you.
J: It gets really annoying when people get your name wrong, and it’s always the same people.
Who is the older brother?
J: Olly is.
O: Me by two and a half hours.
Can you talk to your brother telepathically?
J: Fuck off, stupid question. Of course not.
Haha! Yeah I know. Well you must have done the classic swap classes at school or get with your brother’s girlfriend?
O: Yeah, we swapped classes once. It wasn’t even funny. I ended up in Josh’s English class and it was really boring.
J: I can’t pull girls.
Who has the S.K.A.T.E. belt in Wanaka at the moment? And don’t say Robbie (McCulloch).
O: I think Digby got it off me the other day.
Josh, is it true you can’t even kickflip?
J: I can’t kickflip Beach, but at least I can push.
I thought you weren’t meant to push in the bowl, or is that trendy now?
J: We both know you’re the type of guy who pushes in the bowl.
You’ve both got some footy in MC Cologne’s [Colin Evans] new movie, right?
O: Yeah we’ve been getting a bit. The movie will be tight.
Whose section are you looking forward to in that? I reckon Duckman’s [Casey Foley] is going to be the greatest…
J: Yeah, Colin has been working hard. Watching Morph’s [Josh Malthus] tricks is amazing, so his part will be pretty dope.
O: Probably Gregg Timms’ and James Wright’s parts.
Did you check out Manchester Street today? Anything happen like last time we went there?
O: Oh shit, last time was so intense! That prostitute was raping herself with her own fist. You never see shit like that in Wanaka. I wish that happened every night. We did about three U-turns to try and witness it again.
J: Yeah, that night was one of a kind. Pure violation!
O: But nah, nothing like that happened this time.
Yeah that was pretty crazy. Scarred for life. Are you both still at the park before 9am with helmets doing early grab fly-out 360s?
J: Don’t forget the puffer jackets.
O: Nothing ever happens before 12 these days.
What are you doing tonight after this? Hitting the diving board pools again? I know you’re a bit of a fan.
J: Yeah, for sure we’ll probably hang out with some jocks in the sauna .
O: Yeah, go watch Colin jump off the 10m diving board in his Lycra. That shit’s pretty hilarious.
J: Haha, sheeiit.
Josh, give me some dirt on Olly.
J. Um, it’s hard to think of something on the spot. Olly once got taken advantage of by a huge Mexican chick at some party. She tried getting with me as well but I denied her so she stole my beer and skulled the whole thing. Dumb bitch.
“OLLY ONCE GOT TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF BY A HUGE MEXICAN CHICK AT SOME PARTY.”
Haha, Olly, do you like the Hispanic girls?
O: No. But don’t print that. Actually, I don’t care.
It’s going in. Olly, it’s time for you to get back at Josh. What do you have on him?
O: Not much. I wish I did, he’s too pussy though. I liked that night when he cracked you in the face. Oh yeah, last night Josh body slammed off the 10m diving board right after MC Cologne pin dropped it.
Yeah, that was weak compared to Josh’s story. What are your plans for after high school? Are you going to get the hell out of that town?
J: Yeah. I might move to Duds and live large.
O: I’ll see if I can make it up to Wellys, start the initiation on your flat.
Are you still working at your mum and dad’s vege market? How’s that going?
O: Nah, you’re talking out your arse. I got fired ages ago.
No you didn’t, you just don’t want to talk about it, but fair enough. Oh well, this feels over since you’re not going to answer anything more and I don’t have anything else to hassle you about.
Any last comments, shoutouts or thank yous?
O&J: Mum and Dad, mates from Wanaka, Digby’s car (Big Red), Colin Evans, Tom Hull, Robbie McCulloch, Cheapskates Wanaka, Jake Mein, Mike Halls and Mike Halls’ flow.